An interview session with Barkatullah Baig, Chairman Gojal Disaster Management Committee
Sost Today arranged an interview session with the chairman of Gojal Disaster Management Committee Mr. Barkatullah Baig on January 24, 2014, concerning Gojal Disaster Management Committee GDMC.
Dear readers before proceeding to interview we would like narrate a paragraph on Barkatullah Baig’s services and contributions.
Barkatullah Baig served in Northern Light Infantry (A division of Pakistan Army) from 1974 to 1991. Baig was elected as Union councillor in election 2001, Worked with KVO as wildlife officer for 10 years (Honorary), captain Ismaili volunteers corp. Gojal Bala , served as director at Pak China Sost Dry Port Co., And Vice chairman of Sost Hussainabad Welfare organization for seven years.
Presently Baig is serving as Chairman Gojal Disaster Management Committee GDMC.
The interview is as follow:
Sost Today: What is the aim of this committee and for how long this is working?
Chairman Gojal Disaster Management: This committee was founded in 2010 after the Attabad disaster, it aims to help out the natural disaster affected people of Gojal and assist the administration for solving different issues of Gojal valley. And Make the process of relief distribution fair.
After the disaster the people face mainly food problem, health, education and economical condition of the area has worn-out.
Sost Today: What is the structure of this committee and how does it work?
Chairman Gojal Disaster Management: Although we are not elected representatives. All the members are serving voluntarily. This committee comprises of 25 members, one or two member from each villages of Gojal.
The structure is like that; I am serving as chairman, Mr. Meharban as vice chairman, Ali Nazar is serving as Honorary Secretary and 23 members.
The mechanism through we work is to point out problems of different villages and forward the report to the concern departments.
The previous cabinet (2010-2012) has done incredible job for the affected people of Gojal. We are working with this committee since last year.
Sost Today: What are the noteworthy problems that you’re cabinet has solved?
Chairman Gojal Disaster Management: Last week an infant child of eight months died due lack of medical facility and the closer of Attabad. We have sent report to administration of Hunza-Nagar. Before this we requested to depute a doctors and technical staff in Gulmit hospital. Mr. Dagha Cheif secretary Gilgit Baltistan has ordered health department to send doctor to Gulmit hospital.
Sost Today: Yesterday you people protest against fuel price outside a fuel station at Affiyatabad bazaar Sost. Why didn’t you record your protest to government authorities?
Chairman Gojal Disaster Management: The administration of Hunza-Nagar has already set the price of Diesel and petrol and Naib Tehsildar is responsible to maintain and control the price of all commodities including petrol and diesel here. The Government of Gilgit Baltistan have committed that price will remain unchanged until the KKH opens. The fuel station owner is violating the official price list issued by administration. Meanwhile we have also recorded our protest to Magistrate and Naib Tehsildar.
Sost Today: We came to know that civil supply wheat is being sold in open market. Have you taken any action against them?
Chairman Gojal Disaster Management: Yester day we visit Gulmit regarding the Raft service and deployment of Doctor in Gumit hospital.
The raft service has restarted and 168 passengers have crossed the lake through Raft. Wheat granted was damped at Attabad spill way. Later on, we found the wheat selling in open market. We immediately reported the matter to magistrate.
Magistrate took instant action against the mill owner and took three Lorries of wheat in his custody. And he ordered the Naib Tehsildar to file case against the mill owner.
Sost Today: The government has not released the promised educational fund and the diesel provided by China for the affectees of Attabad disaster has not given yet?
Chairman Gojal Disaster Management: We are working on many issues including the both you mentioned in your question. We have submitted many times our request and hope the educational fund will release soon. Next week the members Gojal Management Committee will visit Giglit and meet Chief Secretary Gilgit Baltistan regarding this issue. Education is fundamental institution of every society and resolving educational and health problems are among our top priority.
Sost Today: Have you taken any step regarding price control in Gojal?
Chairman Gojal Disaster Management: This is the responsibility of Naib tehsildar to control price. We have requested him many times to check price, quality and Checking of expiry regularly. Gojal Disaster management team is ready to assist government departments.
Sost Today: Except all the previously discussed issues, what other issues have you addressed?
Chairman Gojal Disaster Management: After the incident of January 4, 2010 the road infrastructure has completely ruined. Proper transportation setup is much needed in our area you know well. We have requested to the Managing Director of NATCO to start service from Gilgit to Sost.
There are many more projects which are delayed or completely neglected. Roads in Misgar, Chipursan and Shimshal, water problem in Hussaini, hydro projects of Khyber and Misgar, Moorkhun Higher Secondary School and Sost High School etc. Instead on Government notification that electricity bill will exempt for direct and indirect affectees, PWD is charging for electricity and the price of electricity has also been increased.
Local government provided four boats and NATCO promised to provide speed boat for patients, which we haven’t seen till now. These are the problems which we are addressing.
Sost Today: In End we would like to thanks for your time.
Chairman Gojal Disaster Management: I would like Our team is very thankful to DC, AC and SSP Hunza who guide us at every moment.to appreciate the team of Sost Tody for this initiative to forward our voice.
Interview conducted by Farhatullah, Asghar Rumi and Farman Ali.